If your business is struck by natural disaster or any disaster, do your employees know what to do? Every hour your business is down results in loss: revenue, productivity and business. Now is the time to test your continuity plan and make sure your business is ready for disaster.
Testing Your Plan is Critical
Your continuity plan is only effective if it works. What is the best way to know if it is going to work or not? Well, by testing it. You should spend time each quarter running through your business continuity plan.
Testing ensures your plan continues to adapt and grow with your organization. Here are a few types of tests you can run to ensure your plan works.
You want to make sure that your backup solution works as you expect. You also want to make sure that your recovery team has the know-how to restore your business according to your plan. A good way to test your entire scenario is to run a recovery simulation.
This test is a simulation of how your team would handle a full-on recovery. The test involves using your facilities, software, hardware and team to do a full restoration of your assets and get the business back up and running. It can help you get an idea of how long the process is going to take, as well as check out all of your equipment and backups.
While a simulation is a full-on test of your recovery plan, a recovery walkthrough includes the basic steps a single department’s role in your disaster recovery plan is tested. The department should have a team leader that chooses which type of scenario to walk through. Each of the members of the team will take their role during the scenario and step through the process as if it were an actual disaster recovery. For departments that are critical to your line of business, a walkthrough recovery test keeps continuity top-of-mind for your employees.
A checklist is a good way to take a common sense check of your plan. A checklist can ensure that you have all of the key aspects of your business covered. It can also help you ensure that you have enough supplies and emergency forms, and that copies of the plan are distributed where they are needed.
Checklists are also useful for ensuring that personal information – like employee cell phone numbers and addresses – is up to date.
Emergency Evacuation Drills
Don’t forget to test out your people. Periodic tests of your evacuation plan helps to remind employees what their role is during a disaster. It also helps you test out your accommodations for people with physical limitations. Make sure that you have your assembly locations and roll call procedure for the plan.
U.S. Computer Connection Can Help Develop Your Company’s Disaster Recovery Plan
Does your business need help with its disaster recovery plan? Let U.S. Computer Connection help.